Photograph by Braelyn Wekwerth
Here at Berkeley High School (BHS) lunch is a mere forty minutes. The majority of students take advantage of their off-campus lunch privileges daily, making the issue of a lack of time relatable to most students. At BHS, there is no such thing as a leisurely sit-down meal, but students should be able to use lunch as a break. After working hard for the first three periods, students deserve a break to prepare for the rest of the day.
BHS obviously understands the importance of nutrition to a student’s success. After all, free breakfast is available everyday for any student that wants it. However, teenagers need more than a small breakfast to keep them running for a whole day. No teacher wants anything but one hundred percent effort from their students, a very difficult goal for students to meet running on a single meal. If teachers expect us to perform our best, they need to provide us with the time and resources to do so.
To ensure that they get food, students must quickly exit their third period classes. Many students make sure that they’re at the very front of the door when the bell rings, and even call in orders ahead of time to maximize efficiency. In addition to this press for time on the way to lunch, there is also a matter of long lines that often take up the majority of the forty minutes. Even if you get to your desired destination, most, if not all, restaurants have line waiting times of about ten minutes, given that 2,900 students are released to the streets.
The short lunch period wouldn’t raise any controversy or difficulties if students were guaranteed the ability to eat in class. However, some teachers have strict “no food” policies in place, which only complicate things more. Now, even students who called in early and ran to their classrooms in order to be on time still can’t eat their food. Not only is this frustrating for students, but it can also affect their own performance in the class. It is far more difficult to focus and do well when all you can think about is food and how hungry you are. How can the same teachers that demand hard work and focus not allow students to take care of their bodies?
Although this is the case for many teachers, there are also teachers who don’t mind if students finish up their lunch during the class period. In my experience, most teachers don’t mind if you eat as long as you aren’t distracting the class as you’re eating. But in the situation where teachers strictly prohibit food and eating in their class, this becomes even more of a problem. If a student has teachers with the no food policy throughout all their periods after lunch, the student would be going seven straight hours without food. Going this long without refueling your body while struggling to complete work in class is simply a recipe for disaster.
All teachers should allow food to be brought and eaten in class. If our lunchtime won’t be extended, teachers must be prepared to let the students eat in class, which will benefit both sides.